The Carribean Jazz Project: Ray Vega (trumpet, flugelhorn); Dario Eskanazi (piano); Ruben Rodriguez (bass); Dave Samuels (vibraphone, marimba); Dafnis Prieto (drums, timbales); Robert Quintero (congas, percussion).
Additional personnel: Randy Brecker (trumpet); Romero Lubambo (guitar); Mark Walker (drums); Cafe (percussion).
Recorded at Bennett Studios, Englewood, New Jersey between March & May 2003. Includes liner notes by Peter DeVito.
BIRDS OF A FEATHER was nominated for the 2004 Grammy Award for Best Latin Jazz Album.
Personnel: Romero Lubambo (guitar); Ray Vega (trumpet, flugelhorn); Randy Brecker (trumpet); Dario Eskenazi (piano); Dave Samuels (vibraphone, marimba); Dafnis Prieto (drums, timbales); Mark Walker (drums); Robert Quintero (congas, percussion).
Audio Mixer: Phil Magnotti.
Liner Note Author: Peter Devito.
Recording information: Bennett Studios, Englewood, N.J (03/29/2003-05/12/2003).
The Caribbean Jazz Project, spearheaded by vibraphonist and marimba player Dave Samuels, creates unique, infectious music that explores a variety of Latin and Afro-Caribbean styles including rhumba, cha-cha, and samba. While the group has focused in the past on "Latinizing" jazz standards, reinventing them through the lens of Latin-leaning rhythmic and harmonic arrangements, BIRDS OF A FEATHER concentrates primarily on originals by Samuels, which are brought to life by the superior musicianship of the group and the album's special guests.
Acclaimed trumpeter Randy Brecker's work on Samuels's bossa nova-tinged "Picture Frame" offers a perfect counterpoint to the leader's shimmering vibraphone. Romero Lubambo's sophisticated guitar leads light up his own composition, "Valencia." Guest drummer Mark Walker joins core percussionists Dafnis Preito and Robert Quintero in creating the rich rhythmic tapestry that propels the record, and Ray Vega's trumpet and Dario Eskenazi's piano weave Samuels's smartly-written melodic lines throughout. The album's two covers, Herbie Hancock's "Tell Me A Bedtime Story" and Charles Mingus' "Weird Nightmare," rewritten as a cha-cha and a bolero respectively, are surprisingly fresh in their new, groove-oriented incarnations. It is this same freshness, creativity, and Latin-soaked groove that fans of the band have come to expect, and BIRDS OF A FEATHER does not disappoint.